Lind Olsen came from Leirfjorden, Norway to the Viking, Alberta area in the winter of 1907 at the age of 19. It was said that he walked most of the way from Wetaskiwin, Alberta to his homestead that winter. He credited an old fur coat with keeping him alive; however, it is likely that being originally from far North of the Arctic Circle in Norway also helped. Lind left his home in Norway in 1906 likely because he was not the oldest in his family and so there would have been little if not any property for him to inherit over there.
Lind also worked in Edmonton to make money to support his farm, as most early settlers did. It is noteworthy that he helped build the Alberta Legislative Building, a building which his grandson Verlyn Olson would work in as an MLA almost 100 years later! While working in Edmonton, Lind met and married Lena Bjerkan, who had moved to Edmonton in 1912 and worked in a hospital there. It was said that Lena missed setting sail on the RMS Titanic by 2 weeks.
After marrying in 1916, the pair moved to a farm North of Sedgewick, Alberta which was previously owned by Arnt Jacobson. Lind and Lena had their first son Lloyd Sr. in 1917 followed by Roy in 1920 (while on a trip to Norway), Irene in 1924, Norma in 1927, Esther in 1929, and Lloyd Jr. in 1930. In 1927, Lloyd Sr. contracted polio at the tender age of 10 and succumbed to the disease soon after. This was not the end of the Olsen family’s endurance as the following year the family’s relatives lost the patriarch of their family, John Olsen. John died on January 27th of complications after an acute infection of influenza. John and Hannah Olsen’s daughter, Christine, became very close with Lena Olsen after the tragedy and stay so for years to come. It was said that Christine had the most infectious laugh and love of live. She would often tell of how her mother fell out of the famliy’s wagon after one of the brothers hit a bump on a trip to town. Hannah was quite stark and serious about the affair but Christine could soften anyone up by telling the tale.
The tragedies and hardships of homesteader life were dulled by friendships with neighbours and new comers to the area. Lind and Lena were always keen to foster those who were new to the area until they could get themselves settled into the new lifestyle. Additionally, they seemed to always host Sunday dinner after church for members of the congregation.
Esther Anderson (nee Olsen) says that she always remembers the barn, “Just being there.” She believes that it was built in 1921, 8 years before she was born. The only other tale she shared was that one had to be careful, whilst playing up in the barn’s loft, not to fall through the holes in the floor meant for throwing feed through.
Verlyn Olson remembers coming to visit his grandparents on their farm as a kid. While there he would have to help bring the cattle into the barn to be milked. When milking began, it was his job to turn the cream separator.
Lind and Lena Olsen moved off the farm to Camrose, Alberta in 1960. Lloyd Jr. farmed on the place for a few years but moved to Edmonton in the late 1960s. The farm sat empty for a few years while the land was rented out.
John Patten was one of those renters. In 1981, his son, Pat Patten, bought the property this barn sits on and in 1983 they moved to the property. The Pattens raised their family here too, Jason and Candace. They had a few horses, sheep, and cows in the barn over the years. In fact, Candace got into sheep at a young age and sold them once they were grown. With that money, she bought a few cows, which she grew and sold in order to buy a horse.
The Patten family had the old house moved off the property to somewhere near Hay Lakes, Alberta. It still stands and is lived in there today.
Olson, Verlyn. Personal communication. 18 Jun. 2018.
Patten, Jeanette. Personal communication. 18 Jun. 2018.
52.902547, -111.683752 SE 28-45-12 W4
Barn Condition: Good
Construction Date: 1921
Features: Two wooden cupolas, one on each barn’s roof
Roof Shape: Gable on eastern cow barn, gambrel on western horse barn
Decorations: No names or dates, white trim
Roof Covering: Wooden shingles
Siding: Wooden drop siding
Additional History on the Property
Olsen Family History
“The John Olsen Story”, “Oswald Olsen Story”, and “The Family History of Lind and Lena Olsen”. Sedgewick Sentinel. 1st ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print.
Patten Family History
“John Patten”. Sedgewick Sentinel: A History of Sedgewick and Surrounding Districts. 1st Ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print
Wardville-Sunlight School District History
The Olsen children attended Sunlight School.
“Wardville-Sunlight School District”. Sedgewick Sentinel: A History of Sedgewick and Surrounding Districts. 1st Ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print